Supporting a stronger, more inclusive and more competitive broadcasting system

News release

Modernizing the Broadcasting Act for the Digital Age

GATINEAU, November 3, 2020

Canadians increasingly access their music, television shows and films through online broadcasting services. However, unlike traditional broadcasters, these online services have not been required to contribute to the creation, production, and distribution of Canadian music and stories.

Canada’s legislation must keep pace with technological change, to ensure that Canadian content producers and creators are well supported. Online broadcasters must contribute their fair share. To address this need, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today introduced amendments to the Broadcasting Act that will further support Canadian film and music industries and create good, middle-class jobs across the country.

These amendments will require online broadcasters to contribute to the Canadian broadcasting system and will provide the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) with the modern tools it needs to keep up with technological changes. The Bill also provides that the Canadian broadcasting system should reflect the needs and interests of all Canadiansincluding Francophones and Anglophones, Indigenous Peoples, Canadians from racialized communities, and Canadians of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, abilities and disabilities, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and ages.

More precisely, the Government will:

  • confirm that online broadcasting is covered under the Act;
  • update broadcasting and regulatory policies to better reflect the diversity of Canadian society, including gender equality, LGBTQ+ and racialized communities, persons with disabilities, and Indigenous Peoples;
  • create a more flexible approach to regulation that allows the CRTC to establish rules for all broadcasting services that operate in Canada, including rules that create more sustainable sources of funding for Canadian stories;
  •  modernize the CRTC’s enforcement powers; and,
  • update oversight and information-sharing provisions to reinforce the CRTC’s role as a modern and independent regulator.

These amendments respond to urgent calls for action and are an important first step in modernizing the Broadcasting Act. We are committed to further action to to fully modernize the broadcasting system and to support creation of Canadian audio and audiovisual content for the digital age.

The Broadcasting Act outlines Canada’s broadcasting policy, defines the role of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and sets out the mandate of CBC/Radio-Canada. The Act is a key instrument in supporting Canada’s creative industries and in ensuring that Canadian music and stories are available and accessible


“Canadians have a right to recognize themselves in the music they listen to and the television they watch. We are proposing major changes to the Broadcasting Act in order to ensure online broadcasting services that operate in Canada contribute to the creation, production and distribution of Canadian stories.”
—The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage  

Quick facts

  • In June 2018, the Government of Canada appointed an external panel to review three pieces of legislation that govern Canada’s communications sector: the Telecommunications Act, Radiocommunications Act and Broadcasting Act. 

  • After extensive research and consultations with industry stakeholders and academic experts, the panel delivered a final report to Minister Guilbeault and the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, on January 29, 2020. 

  • The proposed amendments to the Broadcasting Act respond to key recommendations in the panel’s report. 

  • The Bill could result in online broadcasters being required to invest more than $800 million in our creators, music and stories by 2023. 

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Camille Gagné-Raynauld
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Privy Council Office

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